Distribution techniques - The WDT a great way to take an average grinder and get out a great shot

The WDT is short for the Weiss Distribution Technique.  It was invented by John Weiss and at first seems a little silly, but you cannot argue with the results.  There is a reason that hundreds or perhaps even thousands of people across the country use this technique many times a day.  For that matter google alone turns up 190,000 hits on this technique!  On the other hand, I will point out that it is a technique that you will not need if you have high enough end equipment.  It is not necessary for a grinder on a level of a Super Jolly or Vario and clearly not necessary on a big conical grinder – although even this depends partially on the grinder and partially on the barista so you will find some people with these grinders who still use it and some who do not.  (John Weiss himself does not use it anymore since he upgraded his grinder long ago).

The idea is that you dose your coffee into a portafilter and then you stir it with a needle until you have broken up any clumps and created a nice, fluffy, evenly distributed bed of coffee.

Most people are like me and cannot do this technique without making a mess or having some kind of aid so they chop the bottom out of yogurt containers and use those as homemade funnels to eliminate the mess.  Other people are much classier and order custom made funnels from Orphan Espresso at


or for the cheaper one


Here is a link to someone giving basic instructions on Youtube for the WDT


and a link to a fantastic looking shot of espresso on youtube created using the WDT (this is what some would call “espresso porn”


Here is a link to the original article written by John Weiss himself…


Finally, I will point out that there are potential disadvantages.  Some speculate that the small fines in a basket should be evenly distributed and this technique can result in “fines migration” where the small fines end up at the bottom more than the top.  On this front some argue that you should stir, but not vigorously.

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